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Cynthia E. Griffin

Stories by Cynthia E.

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Actvists push for vote on Loretta Lynch

Attorney General nominee on hold more than 150 days

Supporters of New York’s Loretta Lynch, who was nominated November 8, 2014, by President Barack Obama to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General are trying to pressure Congressional Republicans to hold confirmation hearings in the full Senate.

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Good business

Entrepreneurs learn to create firms that benefit society

The last thing on Jennifer Davis’ mind was winning $10,000 when she got up Saturday morning to trek down to Los Angeles Trade Technical College to attend the second annual Social Innovation Summit.

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Treading the boards

Festival introduces youth to all aspects of theater

The aim for organizers of the L.A. Youth Theatre Festival happening through April 19 in Leimert Park Village at the Vision Theatre and surrounding theaters is simple; they want to develop in young people ages 13-30 an appreciation for live theater as well as an understanding that they can participate in all aspects of the art form from acting to writing a screen play.

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Black unemployment remains high

Self employment is an option

While the national unemployment remained steady at 5.5 percent and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8.6 million in March, the rate of Black unemployed sat at just about double the U.S. percentage with 10.1 percent seeking work, reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this week. This was little changed from the 10.4 percent rate in February and down from 12.2 percent a year ago, noted the BLS.

One Inglewood school board race could be headed for run-off

Seat 4 too close to call

With an unofficial estimated 5,000 of the more than 65,000 registered voters in Inglewood going to the polls, the city clerk has released the unofficial results, and at this point only one race remains up in the air.

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The business of Black media

While most people who think about Black media consider its historic role as a leader and purveyor of the needs, wants and desires of the African American community, those same people sometimes forget that at the very foundation of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations owned by African-descended people are some fundamentals—these entities are businesses that in order to exist, must make money.

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Minimum wage debate finds two sides to issue

With three different studies serving as the centerpiece of discussion, the Los Angeles City Council Economic Development Committee on Tuesday kicked off a series of public hearings regarding a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles.

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Summer jobs available for youth

Thousands of spots teach about careers and more

Summertime is coming, and as the old song says “the livin’ is easy” and that is especially the case for young people who have an opportunity to snag one of the more than 20,000 jobs that will be offered to youth in Los Angeles County this year.

Campaign for minimum wage pushes forward

Blacks impacted more by low wages

If the Los Angeles City Council were to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, it would create 64,000 new jobs, says Rusty Hicks, executive-secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and co-convener of the Raise the Wage Coalition.

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Local robotics teams gear up for season

AV teams begin competition this weekend

Robotics season is under way, and there are a number of local high schools busy building and preparing to enter their creations in a variety of regional competitions leading up to the international world champions at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, April 22-25.

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Celebration of Black History strikes chord

Ninety years after the first recognition, interest grows

When Harvard-educated historian, author and journalist Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded—the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH)—conceived of the idea of Negro History Week in 1925, the goal was simply to raise awareness of African American contributions to civilization in order to begin to eliminate prejudice. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. According to an article by Howard University Professor Daryl Michael Scott, the response, at the time, was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive Whites—not simply White scholars and philanthropists—stepped forward to endorse the effort.

Hamilton prepares for decathlon

Yankees one of LAUSD’s 11 teams bound for Sacramento

For most of the 59 teams that competed, the hours of studying in preparation for the 2015 Academic Decathlon in the Los Angeles Unified School District are done for the moment.

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Celebration of Black History strikes chord

Ninety years since the first recognition, effort grows

When Harvard-educated historian, author and journalist Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded—the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH)—conceived of the idea of Negro History Week in 1925, the goal was simply to raise awareness of African American contributions to civilization in order to begin to eliminate prejudice. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. According to an article by Howard University Professor Daryl Michael Scott, the response, at the time, was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive Whites—not simply White scholars and philanthropists—stepped forward to endorse the effort.

Intimate connections

Three men discover how their lives intersect in the last days of the Civil War

Whether it was intentionally scheduled or not, putting “The Whipping Man” on stage this month is a good reminder of how interconnected the lives of Blacks and Whites in this country are.

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AIDS/HIV awareness efforts continue

Local and national programs offered

With African Americans accounting for almost half (44 percent) of all people living wth HIV/AIDS in the United States and Black males ages 13-24 representing the highest percentages of new HIV infections (38 percent), National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, held Feb. 7, took on even more importance.

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Knight High awarded most improved

Wins despite being short three members

Despite having only six members when most of the squads had nine, William J. Pete Knight High School finished 43rd in the Academic Decathlon. But more importantly, the 2015 team collected 11,357 more points this year than in 2014 which enabled the youngsters to earn the most improved award in the competition held by the Los Angeles County of Education (LACOE).

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Eighth District candidates talk economics

Pinpoint need to bring in more resources

With a scant three weeks left before the March 3 election, the four candidates seeking to fill the Eighth District City Council seat being vacated by a termed-out Bernard Parks, met at a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Empowerment Congress Southeast Area and the one thing that all the prospects agreed on was that the area has been woefully ignored and underresourced.

Local group marches in Oakland

Seeking accountability in oil leadership

In an effort to educate the community about how oil drilling practices, particularly fracking, impact climate and the local environment, a number of organizations have been holding a series of events including a March for Real Climate Leadership, Saturday in Oakland.

Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program accepting nominations

Local, regional and national prizes to be awarded

Youth ages six to 18 years who have made a positive impact on their communities can be nominated until March 13 to potentially win nearly $400,000 in scholarships and prizes from the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program.

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Thompson retires from McDonalds

Leaves only 5 Black CEOs

As Black History Month kicks off, comes the news that Don Thompson, one of only six African American CEOs at a Fortune 500 firm, will retire from his spot as head of the global restaurant chain.

Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program accepting nominations

Local, regional and national prizes to be awarded

Youth ages six to 18 years who have made a positive impact on their communities can be nominated until March 13 to potentially win nearly $400,000 in scholarships and prizes from the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program.

Candidate forums set for LAUSD

Three vie for District 7 seat

United Way of Greater Los Angeles will co-host next month a series of candidate forums to help residents get to know those campaigning for the school board. Those interested in the District 3 race, which encompasses schools in Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Sherman Oaks, West Hills, Van Nuys, Studio City, and North Hollywood will be held Feb. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at North Hollywood High School, 5231 Colfax Ave., North Hollywood.

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Reparations revisited

Actions of Caribbean nations spur new interest

Ron Daniels is well aware of the ebb and flow of progress that social justice issues can sometimes endure. An activist/scholar who holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from Youngstown State University, a masters of arts in political science from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs in Albany, N.Y., and a doctor of philosophy in Africana Studies from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, he currently serves as distinguished lecturer at York College, City University of New York.

President highlights middle class in address

Obama challenges new Congress to find areas of agreement and stop refighting old battles

With two years left in his historic presidency, Barack Obama spent 60 minutes during his State of the Union address Tuesday focusing on what has been accomplished in the last six years and detailing how he will help middle-class Americans bounce back even more in the next several years.

‘Perfect storm’ clears way for award

Family given $8 million in wrongful death trial

As the nation continues to roil under multiple examples of police versus citizen violence and vice versa, a recently decided jury case in the Los Angeles County court system demonstrates the importance of some key factors.

Southland honors King

Parades, speeches and more on tap

Forty-seven years after his untimely death America is celebrating the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday with parades, special events and days of service. Locally a number of cities will mark the day.

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More Blacks learning the new language of employment

Coding is becoming the new ‘basic’ job skill

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators last week at its annual conference in Dallas ratified a resolution entitled “Supporting the Diversification of Tech Industry’s Empowerment” which calls on companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to diversify their workforces through more robust outreach to minority communities.

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Twitter sparks debate on White privilege #CrimingWhileWhite

Following the news that New York City officer Daniel Pantaleo, who held unarmed Eric Garner in an against-policy chokehold resulting in his death, would not be indicted, protests broke out around the country in what many called “another total miss” by a grand jury. But what resulted after the outcome of the trial was even more surprising. Scores of White Americans took to Twitter in what may be the largest admission of “White privilege” on record.

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Twitter sparks debate on White privilege #CrimingWhileWhite

Following the news that New York City officer Daniel Pantaleo, who held unarmed Eric Garner in an against-policy chokehold resulting in his death, would not be indicted, protests broke out around the country in what many called “another total miss” by a grand jury. But what resulted after the outcome of the trial was even more surprising. Scores of White Americans took to Twitter in what may be the largest admission of “White privilege” on record.

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Five students honored

Beating the odds for a better life

Five local students will be recognized and honored today by The Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) Beat the Odds® Scholarship program for their work to overcome adversity to excel in school and as leaders in their communities.

Small Business Saturday looms large for holiday shopping

Small business is big news in America, and on Nov. 29 consumers have the opportunity to visit and shop at one of the nation’s 28 million small firms as part of the foruth annual Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday looms large for holiday shopping

Small business is big news in America, and on Nov. 29 consumers have the opportunity to visit and shop at one of the nation’s 28 million small firms as part of the foruth annual Small Business Saturday.

Metro construction projects to yield thousands of jobs

Purple line extenstion next on deck

Thanks to a project labor agreement (PLA) the Metropolitan Transit Authority has in place, an estimated 25,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created during the life of transit construction happening between 2014 and 2023 in Los Angeles County.

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Metro construction projects to yield thousands of jobs

Purple line extenstion next on deck

Thanks to a project labor agreement (PLA) the Metropolitan Transit Authority has in place, an estimated 25,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created during the life of transit construction happening between 2014 and 2023 in Los Angeles County.

Democrats maintain control in California

Autumn Burke extends family political legacy

In contrast to the national results where republicans claimed victory by taking control of the U.S. Senate (52 versus 45) and the House of Representatives 244 to 179, Democrats maintained control of key state-wide offices and the legislature in California.

Community calls on Price

Wants Ford, Abrego autopsies released

The South Central Neighborhood Council presented a resolution to 9th District Councilman Curren Price calling on him to introduce a motion in the city council directing the Los Angeles Police Department to release the autopsy reports of Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego.

Local elections

Bond measures, mayor’s seat up for grabs

While voters prepare to go to the polls on Nov. 4 to decide on state-wide measures, there are also a number of local measures and races to decide as well.

Four seek Senate seat

Would replace Rod Wright

Three democrats and one republican have thrown their hats into the ring seeking to fill the unexpired state senate term of Rod Wright.

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Judge orders reprieve for Jefferson High students

Lawyers consider more legal action

The situation at Jefferson High School was an emergency.

Black biz expo president Harold Hambrick dies

Focused on connecting Black businesses and consumers

Harold E. Hambrick was a visionary, and he was an expert at inspiring others to connect with his goals. In fact, during what turned out to be the last two weeks of his life, a friend said the Louisiana native was in the midst of planning something—potentially taking the Watts Village Theater to a new home at the Watts Coffee House. But, he died of a heart attack before that dream could become reality.

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Black biz expo founder Harold Hambrick dies

Focused on connecting Black businesses and consumers

Harold E. Hambrick was a visionary, and he was an expert at inspiring others to connect with his goals. In fact, during what turned out to be the last two weeks of his life, a friend said the Louisiana native was in the midst of planning something—potentially taking the Watts Village Theater to a new home at the Watts Coffee House. But, he died of a heart attack before that dream could become reality.

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Unemployment continues to inch down

High tech jobs increase in L.A.

With the total nonfarm payroll employment increasing by 248,000 jobs in September, the national unemployment rate continues to drop—this time by .02 of a percent to 5.9— down from 6.1 percent. And while the rate for Blacks dropped as well from 11.4 to 11 percent for adults 20 and older, and from 32.8 percent down to 30.5 percent for 16 to 19 year olds, the news still remains dismal for people of African descent.

NAACP battles racial profiling

New report details fight, repercussions and recommendations

The NAACP, following up on its anti-racial profiling work in New York and around the nation, last month released what it is calling a groundbreaking report that details laws, cases and makes a set of recommendations geared toward eliminating the practice among law enforcement.

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Could you have sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule that delivers oxygen to blood cells throughout the body.

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Geoffrey Holder dies at 84

Dance legend stood tall in the world of entertainment

With his trademark lyrical bass laugh that seemed as deep as he was tall (6 feet, 6 inches), Trinidadian actor, dancer, choreographer, painter, costume designer and vocal artist Geoffrey Holder made his mark during nearly six decades in the entertainment industry.

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Breast Cancer

Education and early detection key to improving outcomes

Hear the word cancer from your medical practitioner, and thoughts of death are likely to start haunting you.

Compton schools win national recognition

Tibby and Jefferson elementary receive National Blue Ribbon Award

Tibby and Thomas Jefferson elementary schools in the Compton Unified School District were recently recognized by United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The two local campuses are among 337 schools in 47 states—287 public (traditional, charter, choice, and magnet) schools and 50 private schools—announced Wednesday.

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Candidates line up to run for open Senate seat

Hall, Bradford post key endorsements

Despite the fact that Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday announced a special election on Feb. 10 to fill the 35th District seat vacated when Rod Wright was convicted and sentenced to jail time for voter fraud, at least two people have publicly indicated that they intend to run for the two years left on the term—Assemblyman Steven Bradford and Assemblyman Isadore Hall.

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Breast Cancer

Education and early detection key to improving outcomes

Hear the word cancer from your medical practitioner, and thoughts of death are likely to start haunting you.

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More Black students pass exit exam

But full picture causes concern

According to data reported by California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, 92.2 percent of Black students had passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) by the 12th grade, up slightly from the 91.8 percent figure posted by the Class of 2013.

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